The Liberty Boys after Cornwallis, or, Worrying the earl

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The Liberty Boys after Cornwallis, or, Worrying the earl

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The Liberty Boys after Cornwallis, or, Worrying the earl
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
025221106 ( ALEPH )
70057348 ( OCLC )
L20-00139 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.139 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Issued Jrcd.:lyBy Subscripli1J11 $2.iiO per 11e a r . Er1tercd a s 8" co11d C/{j.fS !.latt e r a t the New York 190 1 , by Frank T o us•y , No. 236. • NE'V YORK, .JULY 7, 1905. Pl'ice 5 Cents. Led by General Comwallis, the troop of redcoats came marching up the pass. Dick and Bob were watching them. "Fire1" shouted the young captain. The hidden Liberty Boys obeyed. Bob following their example. Clutching a pistol, Dick waited for the result.


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THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 A Week l y Magazine Contain . ing Stories o f the American Revolution . Issued Weekly-By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at the New Y ork, N. Y., Post O'(fice , February 4, 1901. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1905, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. 0., by Frank Tousey, 24 Union l:!quare, New York. No. 236. NEW YORK, JULY 7, 1905. Price 5 Cents . .. They were there only a few days ago; you know that CHAPTER I. farmer back there said "I know he did; but he may be a Tory and might have THE LADY AND THE OFFICER. said that just to throw us off the track." "I don't think so. He said he was a patriot, and I beOne hot afternoon in the summer of the year 1781 two lieve he spoke truly." young men were riding along a road in the extreme south-"I hope so, for we don't want to miss cornwallis ' . army, e rn part of the state of North Carolina. Dick." They were bright, handsome young fellows of perhaps "You are right." twenty years of age, and their faces were bronzed by ex-"Let's see; what is the program for us?" posure to sun and wind to almo s t the hue of an Indian. "Well, we were to come down her e to the vicimty of The youths were dressed like ordinary citizens, in the Wilmington, Bob, as a :first move." rough blue jeans so much used at that time, and they were "Yes." well armed, each having four pistols in a belt buckled " Then we were to watch Cornwallis, and if he started around hi s waist. northward with his army we were to worry him all we . They were well mounted, their horses being clean-limbed could." and power fu l looking. "Exactly; we are to get after him and worry him a ll we Sudde nl y one of the youths pointed ahead. can . " "Yonde r is quite a hill, Dick," he said; "we ought to " Yes, that's it." be able to get a good view from its top." "But supp>sing he doesn't m a rch northward with his "Yes, Bob," w a s the reply. army?" "The road r un s right up over it." "Then we will hunt up General Greene's army and join: "So .it does. " him and help him all we can . " " Let me see, the farmer back a mile or so said it was "That's all right; but I hope that Cornwallis will mak e about two mi les and a half to Wilmington, didn't he?'' some kind of a move so that we can get after him. " "Yes." "I think it likely that he will. General Washington "Then it is likely t hat it is not more than a mile from , received news that such were his intentions, you the top of tha t hill to the city." I "Yes, I know you said the commander in-chi ef had "Not more than that, in all probability." received news to the effect that Cornwallis contemplated On the two rode, and :five minutes later they drew r ein marching northward up into Virginia." at the top of the hill in question. Then the two again turned thei r gaze upon the city lyi ng They leaped down and tied their horses. a mile to the southward. "Let's get up on the top of the big rock yonder, Dick." The youths in question were Dick S l ater and Bob Esta -'' All right; we can get a good view from there." brook, the captain and lieutenant of a company of young "I think so." patriot soldiers known as "The Liberty Boys of '76." They climbed to the top of a huge rock standing bes ide This company of youths had just come down into North the road and looked southward. Carolina from the North. They had been sent by Gen" There's the city sure enough, Dick!" e ral Washington with instructions to proceed to the vicin"Yes." ity of Wilmington and watch General Cornwallis, who "It is not more than a mile away ." was in command of the British ar:i;ny of the South. If "Just about a mile." he started to march northward the Liberty Boys were to The two looked long and earnestly toward the city. do all they could to worry him. "Everything looks quiet down there, Dick. The youths had left the Liberty Boys in camp three "Yes." miles back on tlre road and had come on s outhward to "There are no redcoats stirring or marching about." re c onnoiter. "No; there is n't any stir at all." "I guess everybody in Wilmington is asleep, Dick," "Say, Dick," after a little pause, "perhaps Cornwallis said Bob, after an extended look in that direction. and his a rmy a r e not there!" "So it w ould seem, Bob; but I judge that if we were


2 THE LIBERTY BOYS AFTEH CORNWALLIS. down m the city we would find , that peopl-e am stirThe captain getting her veTy angry. Ting." "Good girl!'' whispered Bob, with a nod of appToval. "I wouldn't blame them for not stirring, old fellow; it "But, Agnes, you know the army is to leave Wilming-is so awfully hot!" ton in a few . days, and I want that you shall give me your "It is pretty hot, that's a fact." p1omise to be .my wife, so I must make the most of my Again the youths looked long and -earnestly d the opportunities." city, and then suddenly an -exclamation escaped the lips . "Captain Short, I have told you several times that I of Bob. c an never be your wife," said the young lady, firmly; "and "There comes somebody, Dick!" it is seless to say anything more to me on that subject. "I see them, Bob." Let th f t d th d " , . us enJOY e view a ew mmu es an en n e on. "It's a man and a woman." "Sensible girl!" Bob. "Yes, and the man is -a redcoat." "You really mean that, Agnes?" the captain cried, show" You are right; he has on a uniform." ing his teeth in what was -very nearly a snarl. The two watched the approaching couple a fe.w moments, "Yes, I mean it, and, Captain Short, my name is and then Bob Selwyn." "What -shall we do?" "We will lead our horses back in among the trees and let them pass." "All right; but it is possible that they may • stop here, old fellow." "That will be all right; by stationing ourselves nea:r at hand we may hear something regarding the intended movements of Cornwallis' army, if the soldier is an officer." Bob laughed. "We are more likely to hear a lot of sentimental talk th(!n anything else, Dick." Dick laughed also. "That is possible," he said. "However, we will take our chances on that," They descended from the rock and led their horses back into the timber about seventy-five yards and tied them to trees; then they made their way back and took up posi tions behind trees close beside the road. Presently they heard voices, and then they caught sight of the couple, the two being near at hand. It was seen that one was a British officer about thirty years of age, while the other was a beautiful young woman of perhaps nineteen or twenty years. They drew rein when they reached the top of the hill, and the young lady said: "Let us stop here a little while; it is a nice place from which to get a good view of the surrounding country." "And a splendid place for making love!" said the officer, with a languishing look. "Oh! he makes me sick, Dick!',! whispered Bob. "Now, see here, captain," S! the young lady, in a tone of displeasure, "you know that you promised me that if I would come riding with you no word of love should pass your lips." "She's sensible,' at any rate," whispered Dick. Bob nodded. "I know I promised that," said the captain; "but you know also that all is fair in love or war, so I think it is fair to forget my promise, don't you?" "No, I do not!" decidedly; "and if you persist in your course I shall ride right straight back to the city." ' "Oh, is it inaeed ?" sneered the caP.tain, beginning to show the cloven foot in a most decided fashion. "I thought your name was Agnes as well." "So it is-but not to you," said the girl, who w:as now thoroughly aroused. "Not to me, eh?" sneeringly; and then he went on, almost lierce1y: ''I suppose that only that country booby who happened to be lucky enough to save you the aay your horse ran away and was about to plunge over the bluff into the river, is permitted to call you Agnes, eh?" "That is no affair of yours, Captain Short! And as for John Fordyce, I can say that he is a gentleman and knows how to conduct himself toward a lady, which is more than I can say of you!" "Good for you, miss!" murmured Bob, who was de lighted by the way the young lady was roasting the British officer. "Be careful," hissed the captain, his face (iistorted by rage; "have a care hqw you talk to me!" "Why, what would you do, strike me?" cried the young lady, her voice ringing out scornfull y . "I judge you are just about brave enough for such an act!" Bob clapped his hands in pantomime and murmured: "Bravo, miss! Give it to the scoundrel!" "No, I won't strike yori," snarled the captain; "but you look so handsome when you are angry that, by jove, I can hardly keep from taking a kiss-and I don't believe I will keep from it, either! I'll take not one, but several !" and he made a move to put his words into effect. ,He received a sudden and effective check, howe:ver, for with an exclamatio:g, of the young lady . gave him a cut across the face with her riding-whip, at the same time , crying out: " . Take that, you coward!" A howl of rage escaped th!'! captain's lips, and, fearing that he migM handle the young lady roughly in his anger, Dick and Bob were on the point of leaping out and order ing him to keep his distance; but just at this moment hoofbeats weFe heard and a horseman appeared on the scene. Ife was a handsome, manly-looking fellow of perhaps


THE LIBERTY BOYS AFTER CORNWALLIS. 3 twenty-five years, and as be reined up bis horse the young ' lady exclaimed in delighted accents: "John !-Mr. Fordyce! Ob, I'm so glad that you have come!" "Now there's g01ng to be some fun, Dick!" chuckled Bob, hugely delighted by the turn affairs bad taken. CHAPTER II. A DUEL. "What is thetrouble; :Miss Selwyn?" the neweomer asked, as he glanced first at the young lady and then at the captain. "Nothing is the matter," snarled the captain, in a rage, because of the unwelcome appearance of the young man; "just you go on about your business, you country booby!'' The , young man's face flushed and a dangerous light appeared in bis eyes. "Who is a country booby!" be cried. "You are!" hissed the captain. "Well, all I have to say to you is that you are an inso lent British liar !" retorted the young man. "Good for you!" murmured Bob. Dick bad drawn a pistol and had his eyes on the British officer. His idea was that the captain would either draw his sword or a pistol and attempt1o kill the daring young man -who had spoken so boldly to him. And Dick was right. "Blast you ! I ' ll have your life for that !" hissed the captain, and out came his sword like . a fl.ash. Dick leveled his pistol, but before be could fire the youn g woman gave the captain a cut across the eyes with h e r riding-whip. So great was the pain of the stroke from the whip that the captain gave utterance to a bowl, dropped his sword, and began rubbing bis eyes at a great rate. "Thank you, 'Miss Selwyn," said tM young man. "He would have cut y<1'll down, John-Mr. Fordyce, like the coward that he 'is!" the young woman exclaimed. "I am no c-0ward !" cried the officer. "I would . have given him an opportunity to defend himself." He was still rubbing his eyes and blinking like an owl. Tears were coursing down his cheeks caused by the pain. "I don't believe you," said Miss Selwyn, scornfully. "There is nothing fair about you!" "I will prove to you that you are mistaken," the captain declared. "How?" "By fighting a duel with this booby!" savagely. "He has come up and interfered in what does not concern him in the least, and be has got to pay for doing so!" "I am quite at your service," said the young man, promptly. ".All right!" h . issed the officer; "just wait till I can see, and I will be ready to make an end of you!" "You will be ready but not able," with a smile. "Say, the young fellow is cool enough, but can be hold his own with the captain, that is the question?" whispered Bob to Dick. "I don't know; perhaps be may be able to do so." "Maybe we had better interfere?" "I don't exactly see how we can do that, now tliat both have agreed to fight it out." " That's so; they are rivals, and it is only proper that they should have it out with each other, I judge." "Just so." "But if that scoundrelly captain tries to take any unfair advantage--" "We'll take a hand!" " ' That's what we will!" The captain's eyes were in a condition so be could use them again now, and he glared at Fordyce and said: "You will :fight me?" The other bowed. "With pleasure," be said. Bob grinned and whispered to Dick: "I like his style. He's cool, old fellow." "Yes, I think he will give a good account of himself." "I hope so!" "Shall we fight with pistols?" "We will have to do so, I judge, or with nature's You see, I have no sword." "Pistols let it be!" cried the captain, viciousl y . "We c ould not damage each other with our fists, and this affair is to be to the death !-to your death! Do you hear?" The young man nodded. "I hear," he said; "but we will wait and see who is to die, if you please." "Bah! I am a deadshot !" "I can shoot some, myself." The young woman said nothing. She evidently felt that it was as well to let the two fight it out; but there could be no doubt as to one had her best wishes for hi:; success. "Have you a pistol?" the captain • The young man brushed back the skirts of his coat and showed that in a belt around his waist rested two pis tols. "Very good ; I have this suggestion to make : You ride back about tw.en.ty yards; I will ride the same distance in the other direction; then we will turn, and when Miss Sel w y n gives the w-0rd we will ride toward each other and :lire at our pleasure." The young man nodded. "That is satisfactory to me," be said. "You will give the word, Miss Selwyn?" the captain asked. "I will!" The young lady spoke firmly. "And I will adcl that I hope Mr. Fordyce will be victorious in this duel, Captain Short!"


\ 4 THE LIBERTY BOYS AFTER CORNWALLIS. A snarl of rage escaped the officer's lips, and he cried, fierc ely: ''Your hope will not be realized. I will kill him as sure as that the sun will set this evening!" • • ] ' ordyce "Don't be too sure, Captain Short," he warned. "Sure things are often very uncertain, you kllow." "This one isn't." "That remains to be seen." "Bah! I am a soldier; I make my living by fighting, while yo are a country bumpkin who never smelled the smoke of a battle. Why, then, should I not feel confident that I shall triumph over you?" "Because this is not a battle, captain. We are man to man, and I have every confidence that I am as good a man as you are, no matter how you take me." ''Bosh ! We have had enough talk; now let us get to work! " "I am. quite willing." Then as the young man's eyes rested upon the face of the young woman and he met her gaze, he hesitated, then urged his horse alongside hers, and, leaning over, whis pered in her ear : "Miss Selwyn-Agnes! If I fall I want that you shall know that I love you! You are not angry with me?" The young woman looked him straight in the . eyes, a peculiar, tender expression . in her own glance, and whis pered in reply: "No, I am not angry with you ! " A look of utter happiness appeared on the young man's ace, and he said to the captain, almost eagerly: "I'm ready, sir!" As for the officer, he had glared at the two with the eyes of a fiend while the interchange of whispers was going on and his hand had dropped on the butt of a pistol as though he contemplated drawing the weapon and shooting the young man down. Dick, who saw the move, thought he meant to do so, and promptly leveled his weapon, Bob following suit. Had the captain drawn his pistol it would have been an exceedingly unfortunate move on his part, for the two Liberty Boys were and would have put two bullets into him. He did not draw the weapon, however, but in response to Fordy c e's words he growled ' out: "Very well; now that you are through whispering silly nothings to the young lady we will get to work. I bore with it because I knew that it was the last time you would ever get to do anything of the kind." "As if you had anything to say regarding the matter!" sneered the young man. "Well," sneeringly, "I can keep you from ever doing it again ! " and he tapped the butt of a pistol signifi cantly. "That remains to be seen! As I just said, I am ready for the test, sir ! " " And so am I !." hissed the officer. "Then no more time need be lost." The you:n,g man rode twenty yards in one direction and the captain rode the same distance in the other direction, after which both turned their horses' heads and faced each other. The woman, seated midway between them, but out to one side, where she would not be in range of the bullets, now called out, in a voice which, while clear al\d distinct, was tremulous, proving that she was laboring under considerable excitement: "I will count 'one, two, three,' and then say 'fire!' le that satisfactory?" "It is!" growled the captain. "Yes, Miss Selwyn," from Fordyce. 'l'he girl waited a few moments, while Ute two men drew their pistols and cocked them, and she called out: "One-two-three! Fire!" At the word the shots rang out, one sounding just a frac tion of a second ahead of the other. This was fired by Fordyce, and his bullet took effect in the captain's right shoulder, inflicting a painful wound and causing the officer's aim to be disturbed to such an extent that his bullet went wide of the mark. With a cry of pain, rage and disappointment commingled, the captain whirled his horse with a vicious jerk on the bridle-rein with his uninjured arm and rode away in the direction of Wilmington. Turning in the saddle after he had gone a short distance, he called back viciously: . "This does not end the affair7 John Fordyce! I'll hav e your life for this as sure as my name is Malcolm S4ort ! " "Thank heaven, you are not injured!" cried Miss Selwyn, her eyes on Fordyce. ' CHAPTER III. DICK .A.ND BOB HELP FORDYCE. "His bullet did not come anywhere near me," replied Fordyce, his face lighting up with pleasure, occasioned by the young woman's exclamation . . "I am glad, very glad of it!" "I fired just an instant before he did and thus disturbed his aim. Otherwise he might have hit me." "He will do you harm yet, John-Mr. Fordyce, if he can." "I have no fear of him.'' Miss Selwyn glanced in the direction taken by the cap tain, and a cry of fear and dismay escaped her lips. "Fly, John! Fly for your life!" she exclaimea; "yon der come some troopers !" There a bend in the road less than one hundred yards to the southward, and a party of at least eight Brit ish troopers had suddenly appeared around the bend. More, they were riding at top speed, and it was evident that Cap-


THE LlBERTY BOY' AFTER CORXWALLl '. 5 tain hort had told them to hurry, m the hope that they might capture the young man. The troopers were so near that they would be able to shoot Fordyce if he fled on horseback, and he leaped to the ground and ran into the edge of the timber. Here he came upon Dick and Bob, but before he could give expression to hi surprise, Dick said : " top and tand your ground. sir! We are patriots and will help you ! We three can whip tho e trooper !" "And not half try !" cried Bob. "All right!" cried Fordyce, delightedly, and he drew an other pistol and stationed him elf behind a tree. Mis elwyn sat on her hor e gazing upon the soldiers with scornful eyes. "Oh, the cowards !" she murmured "there are eight, and they are consequently eager to get at one man!" The trooper brought their horses to a stop and leaped to the ground. "Quick! into the timber, men r cried one .. "We will catch the coundrelly rebel who wounded the captain!" They ran toward the timber. But they were treated to an unplea ant urprise before they had gone three yards. Upon the air rose the sharp crack of pistols ! Three shots ' were fired almost at one and the same time, and down dropped three of the troopers, two dead and one wounded severely. "Again !" cried Dick. Crack ! Crack ! 'he two Liberty Boys had fired; but Fordyce"s other pi tol was empty, and he could not fire another shot. Down dropped two more trooper , both dead. That left only three out of the eight. "Quick, Bob!" cried Dick! "quick, and we'll get the others!" Thi-wa too much for the three. They were demor .alized by the fate of their comrades, and they whirled, with crie of fear and dismay, and fled back to where their "horse stood. They leaped into the saddles and put purs to the ani mals and da hed away at the best speed of the animals. Dick and Bob had not fired because the three were in :range with the young woman, and they had been afraid that they might hit her. Now, however, they fired two more shots, and one of the three dropped out of the saddle, while another reeled and almost fell. On down the road and around the bend dashed the two, and the wounded captain, who had brought his horse to a and wa sitting half turned in hi saddle, stared at -the approaching couple in open-mouthed amazement. "What does this mean?" he cried, when the two were up wifu him and had brought their horses to a stop. "It means that the others have been shot to death!"

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